Dialogues in Contemporary Art: Take 3

John Menick, Starring Sigmund Freud, 2012, video, 28 min, 16:9. Courtesy of the artist

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
7–8:30 pm

ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013

Dialogues in Contemporary Art: Take 3
In Collaboration with AhmadyArts

Independent curator Leeza Ahmady brings together artists John Menick and Yusuf Misdaq in what promises to be yet another invigorating discussion. With very different backgrounds and individual perspectives on artistic activity, both artists have made heartfelt works that are simultaneously process-based, conceptually vigorous and seamlessly span across mediums: writing, sound, film and more.

Menick’s socio-psychological explorations of people, time and place are established through video and audio, as well as essays and fiction. His recent contributions to dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel marked the first time he had exhibited both as a visual artist and a writer with a collection of short stories and essays, a film and an audio work. Crisscrossing through media, Menick employs fantastical characters, re-appropriations of well-known things and people, criticism and cinematic examinations to produce empirical plots that often skirt the line between storytelling and documenting.

Misdaq’s work across mediums has the unapologetic and direct aim of connecting people with themselves and each other. His work harnesses “primal arts” such as storytelling, music, oil painting, performance, poetry and natural clay sculpture, alongside more contemporary art forms such as digital art, observational documentary and film. Imaginative and exploratory in nature, Misdaq propels his work forward with poetic analyses and predictions of existence and culture. His practice embodies sincerity as he applies humanity to the process from the development of an idea to the promotion of a final product.

The Dialogues in Contemporary Art series is part of an ongoing effort by AhmadyArts to disseminate broader, more thorough knowledge of art communities and artists’ activities both inside and outside of Asia.

This event is free and open to the public, though seating is limited. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with DCA: Take 3 in the subject field. For more information about the event and programming in the Curatorial Hub, contact Misa Jeffereis, Public Programs & Research Coordinator at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

October 16, 2012

The Curatorial Hub at ICI
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013

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Leeza Ahmady

Born in Afghanistan and based in New York, Leeza Ahmady is an independent curator, the Director of Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW), and dOCUMENTA(13) Agent. Ahmady has traveled widely in Central Asia, presenting the largely unknown artists of the region in international art forums such as the Venice Biennale, Istanbul Biennial, and Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong. She directs Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW), an annual event initiated by the Asia Society, New York, comprising a series of special exhibitions, lectures, and performances at leading city museums and galleries. Ahmady’s efforts in complicating categorical notions about Asia have resulted in an expanded list of participating artists, and a broad consortium of venues that support the initiative, such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

John Menick

Menick makes films and audio works, writes essays and short stories, and occasionally makes prints and drawings. These works are often populated by wandering detectives, duplicitous storytellers, homeless documentarians, mad travelers, and institutionalized cinephiles. His artwork has been shown at dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; MoMA PS1, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; CCA Wattis, San Francisco; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; and Artists Space, New York. His writing has appeared in Frieze, Mousse, and Art in America. Menick has received grants from the Jerome Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and he is a visiting professor of film and video at the Cooper Union in New York. His ideal audience member — possibly you — watches no television, can’t drive or swim, always carries a pen, hates cell phones, names Pale Fire as his or her favorite book, wears glasses, and is afraid of flying. Most of the time he lives in New York City.

Yusuf Misdaq

Born by the sea in Brighton, UK to Afghan parents, Yusuf Misdaq (also known as ‘Yoshi’) has been described as a “spectral presence” in the music-scene, and no-less than a “mystic” in poetry, receiving rave reviews for his multi-genre work from art and music magazines like The WIRE, Hip-Hop Connection as well as coverage from NPR, BBC, PRI and others. Working quietly and consistently ‘under the radar,’ his creative output is extensive to say the least, with 10 books, 4 solo LP’s and numerous video, documentary film and multi-media art projects already under his belt.

As well as gaining an MA in Documentary Film-Making from the University of London, Misdaq has also worked as media relations officer for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington DC (during the reigns of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama); more recently he was in Benghazi, Libya, where he served as a field-producer & director for Democracy Now! at the onset of the civilian uprising. He has taught Creative Writing classes at the University of Brighton (UK), New York Universities Islamic Center, and at the Marvin Center in George Washington University, DC.

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